Baker-Polito Administration Launches Economic Development Planning Council

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Today, Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito swore in members of the Economic Development Planning Council, which will provide input on and oversight of an economic development plan that will be presented to Governor Baker by the end of the year.

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy will serve as co-chairs of the council.

The new council brings a diversity of experience and perspective, including representation from every region of the Commonwealth. The council includes appointees of the House, Senate, relevant Executive Secretariats, and municipal leaders, along with small business owners and entrepreneurs, leaders from key business sectors and higher education.

Governor Baker said, “Our administration values the unique insight the members of the Economic Development Planning Council will bring under Lt. Governor Polito and Secretary Kennealy’s leadership to continue propelling Massachusetts’ economy forward. We remain committed to empowering local communities with the tools and funding needed to succeed and I look forward to reviewing the Council’s recommendations.”

Lieutenant Governor Polito, co-chair of the Economic Development Planning Council said, “I am honored to co-chair this essential process, and work with the exceptional and talented individuals appointed to the Council. With Council members hailing from the Berkshires to the Cape, representing industries ranging from healthcare to financial services to manufacturing, from entrepreneurial ventures to large established companies, the composition of this Council will ensure Massachusetts benefits from a diversity of perspectives.”

Housing and Economic Development Secretary Kennealy, co-chair of the Economic Development Planning Council, said, “We are proud of the unprecedented strength of the Commonwealth’s economy, and are committed to ensuring all residents can share in continued economic growth. This Council will embark on a robust planning process, engaging stakeholders across the state for valuable input on ways we enhance our partnership with local communities, educational institutions and training organizations, and businesses. I look forward to collaborating with stakeholders across the state, and am pleased to co-chair this council with Lt. Governor Polito.”

The council and process are guided by Section 16G of Chapter 6A of the Massachusetts General Laws, which requires a new economic development plan formulated and signed by the governor within the first year of a new administration. Under the leadership of Lt. Governor Polito and Secretary Kennealy, the council will embark on regional engagement sessions across the state to obtain public input in the development of a new economic development plan, which the council will approve and present to Governor Baker to guide economic policy over the next four years.

Additional details on the regional engagement sessions, including session registration, are available online.

At the onset of the Baker-Polito Administration’s first term in 2015, a similar process resulted in the plan entitled “Opportunities For All.” This plan formed the basis for the Administration’s economic development policy and led to the filing of economic development legislation in 2016 and 2018. Together with the Legislature, the resulting bills signed by Governor Baker collectively authorized more than $2 billion toward growing the economy and promoting regional equity within Massachusetts.

The Administration’s economic development programs include the MassWorks Infrastructure Program to fund public infrastructure projects the drive job and housing growth, the Site Readiness and Brownfields programs, to enable communities to leverage underutilized sites and prepare them to be shovel-ready for development, the Collaborative Workspace program to empower local entrepreneurship and innovation and the Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2) to support cutting-edge research and development. The 2018 legislation authorized funding for the first ever standalone Dredging Program for our coastal communities, which supplements extensive funding for the Seaport Economic Council, which the Administration reconstituted in 2015.

Since 2015, the Administration has invested $1.5 billion in grants in over 300 communities, spurring the addition of thousands of jobs and housing across the Commonwealth.

Economic Development Planning Council
Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Council Co-chair
Secretary Mike Kennealy, Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, Council Co-chair
Secretary Rosalin Acosta, Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Pat Begrowicz, Owner and President, Onyx Specialty Papers
Stephen Boyd, CEO, Boyd Technologies
Cheri Butts, Associate Director, R&D, Biogen
David Crouch, Founder and Owner, Ten24
Carlos DaCunha, Senior VP & Chief Lending Officer, St. Anne’s Credit Union
Mayor Kim Driscoll, City of Salem
Pamela Everhart, Senior Vice President, Fidelity
Brian Fairbank, Chairman, The Fairbank Group
Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante, 5th Essex District
Leslie Gould, Executive Director, Greater Beverly Chamber of Commerce
Leslie Greis, Owner and Director, Kinefac Corp.
Secretary Michael J. Heffernan, Executive Office of Administration and Finance
Judy Herrell, Owner and CEO, Herrell’s Ice Cream
Karl Hetzler, President, H&S Tool and Engineering
Wendy Hudson, Co-Founder, Cisco Brewing
Michael Lauf, President and CEO, Cape Cod Health Care
Senator Eric Lesser, 1st Hampden and Hampshire District
David Lucchino, Co-founder, President and CEO, Frequency Therapeutics
Sal Lupoli, CEO, Lupoli Companies
Marcos Marrero, Director of Planning and Economic Development, City of Holyoke
Dani Monroe, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Partners HealthCare
Derek Oliver, Director, Government and Industry Affairs, Wayfair
Luis Pedraja, President, Quinsigamond Community College
Secretary Stephanie Pollack, Executive Office of Transportation
Pam Randhawa, Founder and CEO, Empiriko
Dan Rea, Executive VP, Real Estate Development, Pawtucket Red Sox
Jody Rose, President, New England Venture Capital Association
Roben Salinas, Founder, President and CEO, Parsagen Diagnostics
Dorothy Savarese, President, Cape Cod Five Bank
Secretary Katie Theoharides, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Todd Trapp, Chief Financial Officer, Abiomed
Jean VanderGheynst, Dean, UMass Dartmouth
Robin Ward, Secretary, Homebuilders and Remodelers Association, Mid-Cape Home Centers